Some of you, like me, have been fortunate enough to hear this at a very unfortunate time.

I first heard it while standing in as a pallbearer at a funeral in my teens…

And it changed my life.

It’s a poem, called The Dash, by L. Ellis.

It’s most commonly read at funerals,

But it should be something that is read and remembered daily…

And it’s the inspiration behind our newest “Growth to the Grave” apparel.

The gloom in our new design is our powerful plea to you:

MAKE EVERY MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE MATTER

BY LIVING IT WITH PASSION AND PURPOSE

It’s natural — you’ll get caught up in your past:

The wrongs you’ve received

The mistakes you’ve made

The regret you’ve felt

Similarly, you’ll caught up in your future:

The possessions you’ll have

The experiences you’ll have

The time (you think) you’ll have

However… you’ll -rarely- get caught up in the most important part of your life:

THIS MOMENT

When you’re looking too far backwards into your past or looking too far forward into your future…

You miss the present —

Which is the very thing that PRESENTs you with the most valuable opportunities in life:

OPPORTUNITIES TO GROW

Life IS growth. Without it, you’re simply not living — you’re already dying.

Without presence, a lifetime (your dash) can pass by without you:

Becoming who you are truly meant to be

Building what you are truly meant to do

Being truly alive

The Few are committed to growing until the very end of our dashes —

There will be discomfort.

There will be failure.

There will be pain…

AND THERE WILL BE GROWTH… TO THE GRAVE.

P.S. Our new “Growth to the Grave” apparel drops this Thursday night EST.

~

Here are the powerful takeaways that I experienced from this poem (included below) as a teenager:

“Be less quick to anger” — forgive, and let it go. Life is very short. Holding onto the past is like wearing a boulder around your neck. It weighs you down and makes it impossible to move… and grow.

“Show appreciation more” — be grateful for all that you have… and all that you do not have. Root yourself in an abundance mindset and see opportunity instead of lack and limitation.

“Treat each other with respect” — in these times, respect is a lost art. We all have more in common than we are led to believe by the media, politicians, etc. Build bridges… instead of digging trenches. Create solutions, not separations.

“Life is short” — be where your feet are; be relentlessly present in the moment. In this world of constant distractions, tune them out and tune into yourself and your presence. There’s one thing that separates those that have and those that want… FOCUS. Today may be your last day; you can’t afford to spend it distracted.

THE DASH
by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?
November 16, 2021 — Joey Bowen